EL NIDO, Palawan — The management of the public market here has adopted a strict social distancing policy as a measure to avert possible COVID-19.

Following a meeting initiated by market supervisor Mabel Reyes and local business owners of the Pamilihang Bayan ng El Nido on April 14, there was an agreement to limit the number of customers inside the public market to 30 persons at a time.

Market hours will be from 6 AM to 5 PM in compliance with the municipal enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) executive order. There will also be a strict implementation of a “no entry” policy for those who are not wearing facemasks, no inter-barangay border pass, and no tourist pass.

Physical distancing for at least 1 meter apart shall be observed.

“Nag-dry run kami at nakita namin maganda ang resulta, at least ma-observe talaga natin ang social distancing, mas makabubuting makaseguro tayo na di tayo magsisiksikan sa loob ng palengke,” Reyes said.

Reyes also admitted she was surprised to see the sudden influx of market-goers two days ago which prompted them to implement the solution on the matter.

“Mas mabuti nang may ginagawa tayo upang makaiwas, at nagpapasalamat na din tayo sa full cooperation nila at understanding,” she added.

The market now opted to open designated entrance and exit gates manned by market personnel for inspection and alcohol sanitizing ensuring a controlled number of market-goers inside the market place.

“We started 30 muna, but we allowed 40 already at so far okay naman,” Reyes told Palawan News.

Executive Order No. 20-049 on Section 1 of 3.1.3 was amended by EO 20-055 which provides additional guidelines to be observed by the tourists during the duration of the ECQ.

This orders tourists to go alone without the company of a hotel/accommodation staff, provided they bring with them “tourist passes” when they are out for essential purposes.

Recent EOs released by Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim included orders adopting the extension of the ECQ until April 30, 2020 (EO 20-054) and continued enforcement of existing orders and guidelines relative to ECQ such as 24-hour liquor ban until after the State of Public Health Emergency is lifted (EO 20-053), and the imposition of curfew hours from 8 PM to 5 AM.

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